The Announcement of the Climate Vulnerable (CVF) Summit Gives New Hope that the Paris Agreement on Climate will be Implemented

27 June 2018

Patricia Espinosa, Co-Chair of the Global Climate Action Summit and Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said “The Forum is a clear demonstration of how and why the world needs to address the climate challenge. Not only have its member nations adopted some of the most ambitious climate targets to date, but their exposure to the realities of extreme weather events are a constant reminder of our shared responsibility to step-up the pace of action.”
Dr. Hilda C. Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and incoming Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), today announced the first ever carbon-free online Summit of world leaders on 22nd of November 2018. This announcement gives new hope that we will attain a critical decision by all countries to step up ambition at the next climate talks in Katowice, Poland this coming December. This decision is a critical outcome that the Climate Action Network (CAN) and its partners have been working towards as 2018 is a key year and dubbed as the “Step Up year” or “trigger year”. It is the first important test of the Paris Agreement and the ratchet up mechanism constituting its core. For the Paris Agreement to reach its goal of keeping warming below 1.5C, countries must revise, update and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) every five years. The next round is 2020. But for countries to come prepared to submit new NDCs in 2020 they need to start the process with national consultations as early as January 2019. 

The CVF Summit comes after key international moments including the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) and the release of the Special Report on 1.5C by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At the GCAS non-state actors will demonstrate what they are doing to curb emissions and keep warming in check and the release of the IPCC report is expected to tell governments that they need to do a lot more to reach the temperature goal of 1.5C, otherwise vulnerable countries and cities will suffer and face an ill fate. Warming beyond the limit set in Paris will threaten global security and the economy. The report will tell governments
that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is the only road to salvation and to achieve optimum health, prosperity, jobs and security. The CVF Summit will come to stress this and it would be the time when at least 50 governments will demonstrate to the world that climate solutions exist, are possible to adopt and economically productive.
The CVF Summit is the moment of leadership everyone has been waiting for and for this reason all climate stakeholders welcome and support it. 

The announcement of the first virtual climate summit President Heine was met with strong support from political leaders around the world. The Heads of Government-level event will build increased support for the safeguard of those most vulnerable to growing climate change dangers by promoting inclusive dialogue and driving enhanced ambition for climate action. 

Heads of State and Ministers from non-CVF countries, as well as heads of inter-governmental agencies, applauded President Heine’s initiative, including: 

  • H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France
  • H.E. Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs & Climate, Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • H.E. Miguel Arias Canete, EU Commissioner
  • H.E. Edmund G Bown Jr, Governor of California, USA
  • Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC
  • Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility
  • Ajay Mathur, Member, PM Council of Climate Change and Director General, TERI, India
  • Emily Farnworth, Head of Climate Change Initiatives, World Economic Forum



Reaction from CAN members and partners:

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. 
“President Heine will help carry the torch of climate action from this year’s Global Climate Action Summit to the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Poland this December.”

Hoesung Lee – Chair of the IPCC:
“The IPCC is working hard to complete the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC, to be released in early October subject to approval. As IPCC Chair I am delighted to hear that the Climate Vulnerable Forum is organizing its first carbon-free summit in November. I hope that our report will provide a valuable scientific evidence base for your discussions, as well as informing the negotiations at COP24 a couple of weeks later.”

Patricia Espinosa, Co-Chair of the Global Climate Action Summit and Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change:
“The Forum is a clear demonstration of how and why the world needs to address the climate challenge. Not only have its member nations adopted some of the most ambitious climate targets to date, but their exposure to the realities of extreme weather events are a constant reminder of our shared responsibility to step-up the pace of action.”

Winnie Byanyima – Oxfam International Executive Director:
“The countries least responsible for causing climate change are taking matters into their own hands. They are showing the rest of the world the way to fight climate change. This is the true spirit of the Paris Agreement, and the kind of leadership that people on the front lines of extreme weather demand.”

Jennifer Morgan – Greenpeace International Executive Director
“This Summit is a call to action for the world’s leaders to step up and prove that they’ve heard the voices of the world’s vulnerable and that they too will act with the responsibility and urgency demanded of them,” 
“It puts the biggest polluters to shame that the countries who will be hit hardest by climate change are also the ones leading the fight against global warming. Other countries need to wake up and act because our collective fate will be sealed by the actions taken today.” 

Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute:
“As the world faces growing impacts from climate change, we must listen to voices of the most vulnerable. The members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum have demonstrated their commitment to take action that will help spur the world to step up ambition by 2020. The summit in November should provide a much-needed jolt of momentum heading into the global climate talks in Poland. There’s no doubt that accelerating climate action is in all countries’ interests. We need more action by all to achieve the vision put forward by the Paris Agreement.”

Esther Watts, Country Director of CARE International in Ethiopia:
“Climate change is a major development challenge in Ethiopia. How the country and, its diverse peoples, communities, and households respond to the multi-faceted impacts of climate change determine Ethiopia’s prospects for growth and transformation, gender equality, and livelihood resilience and sustainability. Recognizing this, the Government of Ethiopia, CARE and other development partners have been making considerable efforts to respond to climate change impacts. The CVF summit will be an important opportunity to raise awareness of climate actions taken, and to trigger further cooperation to scale them up.”

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility:
“It is the poorest and most vulnerable countries that are hit the hardest from climate change. At this critical time, we all need to raise our climate ambition and the GEF is committed to transformational change. We all share one planet in common, and in its new four-year investment strategy the GEF puts a strong emphasis on financing for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. The CVF Leaders’ Summit is an important opportunity to accelerate action towards a low carbon future.”

Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“The IFRC welcomes the announcement of the CVF Summit as an opportunity to bring greater attention to rising climate risks that are affecting the most vulnerable communities in the world. The impacts of climate change are here, now, and we will continue to see devastating humanitarian consequences unless urgent action is taken. For this reason we look forward to the Summit resulting in increased ambition, solidarity and urgency to build resilience and achieve all the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Tomás Insua: Executive Director – Global Catholic Climate Movement:
“The poor and future generations most suffer the consequences of climate change, even though they least contribute to its causes. Plain and simple, this is an issue of justice. The nations that are most vulnerable to the climate crisis are calling for us to act, and our faith tells us that standing with them is a moral opportunity. Loving our neighbors is a courageous act. In response to Pope Francis’ call, we are committed to making the choices today that will step up our ambition and keep us below the 1.5 degree threshold.”

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF’s global climate and energy programme:
“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our world, threatening the delicate web of life that sustains ecosystems and the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Our leaders have the power to change this, to be part of history as we shift to a low-carbon world. This starts with increasing climate action reflected in individual country climate plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs). So the Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit is a welcome initiative, coming at just the right time. In this year of stepping up climate action, world leaders need to be bold, to act now and at scale, to help ensure that they keep the promise of a 1.5°C degree world alive.”

May Boeve Executive Director
“This is a powerful call to action that must resonate around the world. With their commitment to reach 100% renewable energy, climate vulnerable countries are leading the way to a fossil free future. Their bold actions put to shame the delay and denial we see from so many rich countries like the United States. The message from the Climate Vulnerable Forum is clear: if you’re still building fossil fuel projects, you’re endangering the very survival of these nations. No matter where we live, the climate movement stands in solidarity with all vulnerable communities who are on the frontlines of this crisis. Together, we can end the age of fossil fuels and create a just and sustainable world for all.”


For more information, contact Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN
International; email:, Tel: +961 3 567928, skype: halakilani

About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote
government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically
sustainable levels.



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